Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok (Wanglang Road) is the oldest and largest hopital in Thailand. It was founded in 1888 by King Chulalongkorn. During his reign there was a big Cholera breakout in 1881. The king established temporary hospitals in 48 community districts. The hospitals were closed when the occurrence of the disease was reduced. However, the establishment of a hospital was still in his mind and he appointed a committee to take responsibility. On 22 March 1886 King Chulalongkorn had appointed the committee to establish a permanent hospital at Kromphrarajawangboworn Sathanpimuk (Wang Lang)’s Palace on the west bank of Chao Phraya River. He also gave money from his private funds as the first donation for the establishment. During the preparations, the Prince Siriraj Kakutabhundu, the King’s beloved son died of dysentery on 31 May 1887. This brought him great sorrow and also a strong will to establish the hospital. After the Prince’s cremation, the King donated the wood planks and everything else used in the ceremony to the hospital as well as donating the prince’s private fund. In the early period, the hospital committee had built 6 patient wards and on 26 April 1888 HM King Chulalongkorn presided the opening of the hospital and named it “Siriraj Hospital”, also called “Wang Lang Hospital” by the local people. The hospital was opened to render treatment to patients both in modern and Thai traditional medicine. With an increasing demand for treatment and an inadequate number of physicians, a medical school was established in this hospital and teaching started on 5 September 1890. It was a 3-year curriculum, teaching was both in modern and traditional medicine. This first medical school in Thailand was named “ Pattayakorn School”. The medical degree was awarded to the first medical graduates on 1 May 18931.
- Photo by Riina Susanna Severini ti.supmacinu|inireves.r#| (September 2014)
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